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Opinions & Interviews

30 Apr 2019

EAEU urged to deal with rising number of trade barriers

EAEU urged to deal with rising number of trade barriers

MINSK, 30 April (BelTA) - The Eurasian Economic Union needs to look into the reasons why the number of barriers to trade has been growing, Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said at a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Yerevan on 30 April, BelTA learned from the government press service.

“It is important to improve the efficiency of work by eliminating barriers, exceptions and restrictions on the internal market of the union. We need to understand why the number of obstacles to trade, especially those considered to be in violation of the laws of the union, has been growing. What are the reasons: the imperfections of our treaty [EAEU Treaty] or legal nihilism of individual member states?” Sergei Rumas said.

According to the Belarusian head of government, in the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the EAEU Treaty it is very important to evaluate the results of the work done. “Over this period we have done a lot: adopted legislation to launch the EAEU, improved its governance and coordination bodies, strengthened the economic relations of the five with third countries.

However, there is still a number of unresolved issues, Sergei Rumas note. “The key goal of the EAEU was to form an effective internal market of the member states with all four freedoms. There are still a lot of challenges on this way. Among them is the development of the common markets for gas, oil and oil products by 2025,” Sergei Rumas said.

According to him, in December 2018 the heads of state signed the declaration on the alignment of integration processes in the Eurasian Economic Union. The document aims to promote integration processes such as ensuring maximal efficiency of the union’s common market, promoting scientific, industrial and technological breakthroughs, and facilitating the digital transformation of the economy.

“In the modern world the level of digital technology plays a defining role in the competitive ability of countries and economic unions. In this regard it is necessary to continue the development of the EAEU legal framework and harmonization of the legislation of its member states, capitalize on the common digital space in order to increase mutual trade, including e-commerce,” Sergei Rumas said.

Belarus supports the implementation of joint projects and programs, a wider use of information and communication technologies in cross-border cooperation between the authorities, economic entities and individuals.

Belarus has recently received a proposal from the Eurasian Development Bank to apply its clearing and settlement system in the national currencies of the member states. The bank believes that the treasuries of the member states can use this system as they make payments and conversions (without the use of the US dollar) on distributed import customs duties. This will enhance the role of national currencies in mutual settlements of the EAEU countries, help develop national currency markets and de-dollarize the economies.

Sergei Rumas wished Armenia every success during its presidency in the EAEU in 2019.

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